When it comes to providing the best senior care for your aging parents, it is important that you keep in mind all areas of the home. It is easy to recognize challenges in areas such as the living room or kitchen, but one of the most dangerous areas of the home for a senior is actually the bathroom. One of the most important parts of senior care is making sure that your parents are in a safe and secure environment, but also that they can continue to maintain their daily activities with as high a level of independence as possible.
Bathroom safety can be accomplished through making simple changes to the design and function of the room. Whether you are willing to do some major renovations to the home or would rather implement simpler changes that can be done more easily and less expensively, you can greatly improve your parents’ physical security and ability to take care of themselves with these ideas:
- Getting into the shower is often the most difficult part of bathing for seniors. Consider replacing the bathtub with one specifically designed for use by seniors or with a shower stall that doesn’t require a large step to get in.
- Make sure that there are secure handrails installed on the walls of the shower. These bars should be firmly installed in place so that a senior can rely on the bar to help them steady themselves without worrying that it will come off of the wall.
- Place non-slip pads or stickers on the bottom of the tub to keep your aging parents safe from slipping when bathing.
- Benches can make it much easier for your parents to bathe, allowing them to sit comfortably and securely on the bench rather than trying to bathe while standing.
- By installing a handheld shower head you can make it easier for your parent to bathe himself, or easier for a caregiver to bathe him because the shower head can be moved around his body rather than requiring that he move himself.
- An elevated toilet seat makes it easier for your parent to sit down and stand back up.
- A padded toilet seat cover is more comfortable, and also cuts down on slipping.
- Make sure that the toilet paper is close enough to the toilet that your parents don’t have to lean far to get it.
- Choose a sink that is at an easy height to use but also doesn’t pose a risk for your parent hitting his knees.
- Eliminate uneven flooring such as small tiles that can pose a tripping or traction hazard.
- Make sure that there are handrails positioned around the room so that if your parent loses his balance he doesn’t reach for a towel rod or something else that could break and cause a serious fall.